Food Flirt

Food, recipes, cooking, travel,

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Location: Petaluma, California, United States

Jacqueline is an international award winning journalist whose stories about food never fail to tantalize her reader's taste buds.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tomato Season is here

Tomatoes are among my favorite foods and the season has really just begun. I return from the Marin Farmer's Market on Sunday's with bags of goodies: a wonderful variety of tomatoes, fruits and vegetables bursting with flavor.

I recently came across a recipe for a Tomato Tart that sounds divine! It is for four people but I don't see any reason why one couldn't make a smaller one when dining alone.

Tomato Tart

Servings: 4
Preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes


4 tomatoes
1 sheet of round puff pastry
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 pound fresh goat cheese
Fresh Basil (optional)
2 teaspoons Herbs of Provence (mixture of thyme, rosemary, basil, wild thyme)
4 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper


Cut the tomatoes into slices, salt lightly and place in a strainer for 30 minutes to allow the extra water to drip off. 

Place the puff pastry into a round, buttered 10 inch pie dish. 

Spread the mustard onto the pastry sheet. 

Place the tomato slices on the mustard. 

Add pepper; spread the herbs and the fresh basil. 

Slice the goat cheese into fine slices and place onto the tomatoes. 

Add the olive oil onto the tart. 

Place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes 

Serve with a green salad. 

Bon appétit !

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Loire Valley - France

I recently returned from a whirlwind trip through the Loire Valley in France. I visited the famous Chartres Cathedral, a cooking school in Orléans, a porcelain factory in Gien and the Sancerre wine-growing region, where I drank some incredible wines, including Menetou-Salon Blanc, which is by far my favorite wine from the Loire.

Menetou Salon vines are planted on ancient limestone sediment and are well adapted to the production of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir used in making this wine. The wine is pale yellow in color and smells a little like butterscotch and white flowers. A deeper breath reveals hints of melon, mango and citrus. It tastes of fresh fruit and spice and leaves a soft finish and elegant flavor in my mouth.

I dined like a Queen at every meal with elegant platters of meat, poultry, fish, great slabs of buttery foie gras and fleshy white asparagus. Oh my!

One memorable dish was grilled beef cheeks topped with fois gras and drizzled all over with a reduced balsamic sauce. Another dish consisted of boiled new potatoes with the skins left on, then sliced in half, dusted with salt and pepper and draped with deliciously cured salmon Gravlax, and topped with a delicate lemon-cream-butter sauce (see recipes below).

The deserts were works of art in themselves. Multi strands of golden spun sugar draped across fresh strawberry ice cream, a soft yellow Creme Anglaise surrounding a dense dark chocolate log, floating island that looked like a giant iceberg making its way around the table and, of course, my old favorite Tarte Tartine (see recipe below) with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream.


Two fresh salmon fillets with skin on
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 bunch dill sprigs, rinsed and patted dry
1/4 cup Tequila, optional

Line a baking dish just large enough to hold salmon with plastic wrap. Place one salmon fillet, skin side down on top of plastic wrap. In a bowl, combine the salt, sugar, and pepper. Scatter evenly over fillet. Scatter dill evenly over salmon. Sprinkle Tequila over salmon, if desired. Top with the other half of the salmon, skin side up. Cover with plastic wrap and weight with a plate and brick or heavy cans. Chill for 48 hours. Scrape away dill and seasonings and
pat dry with paper towels. Slice thinly and serve.


1/3 cup heavy cream
8 Tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

To make the sauce:

Pour the cream into a one quart saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking occasionally to prevent the cream from boiling over, until the volume is reduced by half (about 8 minutes). Increase the heat to medium and add the butter, one piece at a time, whisking constantly, until the sauce is shiny, emulsified, and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add the lemon juice and simmer briefly. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Keep the sauce warm until ready to serve.


1 (12-inch) round piece of puff pastry, about 1/8-inch thick
3/4 pound Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
3 tablespoons softened butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh whipped cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat the bottom of a 10-inch cast iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the sugar on the buttered surface of the pan. Arrange apples in circles to cover the entire surface of the skillet. Sprinkle the remaining sugar on top of the apples and dot with the remaining butter. Cover the apples with the puff pastry, tucking it under the edge of the dish. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Place a serving dish on top of the skillet and turn it upside down and the tart should gently fall out of the skillet. Serve warm with fresh whipped cream.